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Mechanically Induced Cavitation in Biological Systems

School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85281, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Pietro Mascheroni and Haralambos Hatzikirou
Life 2021, 11(6), 546;
Received: 6 May 2021 / Revised: 3 June 2021 / Accepted: 7 June 2021 / Published: 10 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanical Forces in the Cell)
Cavitation bubbles form in soft biological systems when subjected to a negative pressure above a critical threshold, and dynamically change their size and shape in a violent manner. The critical threshold and dynamic response of these bubbles are known to be sensitive to the mechanical characteristics of highly compliant biological systems. Several recent studies have demonstrated different biological implications of cavitation events in biological systems, from therapeutic drug delivery and microsurgery to blunt injury mechanisms. Due to the rapidly increasing relevance of cavitation in biological and biomedical communities, it is necessary to review the current state-of-the-art theoretical framework, experimental techniques, and research trends with an emphasis on cavitation behavior in biologically relevant systems (e.g., tissue simulant and organs). In this review, we first introduce several theoretical models that predict bubble response in different types of biological systems and discuss the use of each model with physical interpretations. Then, we review the experimental techniques that allow the characterization of cavitation in biologically relevant systems with in-depth discussions of their unique advantages and disadvantages. Finally, we highlight key biological studies and findings, through the direct use of live cells or organs, for each experimental approach. View Full-Text
Keywords: cavitation; soft matter; blunt injury mechanism; dynamic bubble behaviors; acceleration-induced pressure gradients cavitation; soft matter; blunt injury mechanism; dynamic bubble behaviors; acceleration-induced pressure gradients
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kim, C.; Choi, W.J.; Ng, Y.; Kang, W. Mechanically Induced Cavitation in Biological Systems. Life 2021, 11, 546.

AMA Style

Kim C, Choi WJ, Ng Y, Kang W. Mechanically Induced Cavitation in Biological Systems. Life. 2021; 11(6):546.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kim, Chunghwan, Won J. Choi, Yisha Ng, and Wonmo Kang. 2021. "Mechanically Induced Cavitation in Biological Systems" Life 11, no. 6: 546.

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